April 6, 2013

Letters to the editor: Kneejerk NIMBY stance slows growth

(Continued from page 1)

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Rob Borden and Erla St. Pierre, both of Wellington, protest in Dover-Foxcroft last May 31 before a public meeting on the proposed east-west highway. A reader cites northern Maine as an area that has maintained its character after Interstate 95 was built there.

2012 File Photo/Derek Davis

"(Scott) Bunting, who was not a Downeast employee, died outside the office after shooting himself in the throat." Note in particular: "not a Downeast employee."

So does Downeast Energy really believe if their workplace had been a "gun-free zone," it would have somehow prevented this tragedy? On the contrary, had a Downeast employee been carrying a firearm, perhaps that dead employee would still be alive today.

This is a great example of why the flawed logic of "gun-free zones" does not save lives but puts more lives in danger. I wish the whole world could understand that. It's so obvious.

That said, I'm very happy that I no longer buy my oil from Downeast Energy.

Erik Winter


Readers offer different ideas on Portland plaza's future

This is regarding the letter "Newspaper reinforces bias against park" (March 15):

I am a peninsula resident of Portland, own my home and pay taxes to the city. Saving a small piece of property that is a burden to the taxpayers and resembles a vacant lot more than a park seems absolutely ludicrous.

We have an opportunity to put this property back on the tax rolls and provide the city with another much-needed ballroom.

We are a destination city, an attractive city and a pedestrian-friendly city. With the addition of another ballroom, the city will attract more convention-type business as well as the many tourists who choose to vacation here. The occupancy tax and meal tax will add additional revenue to the city's and state's coffers.

In my opinion, selling the "park" to the Westin Hotel – a premier accommodation – is a win-win.

As far as hangouts are concerned, Longfellow Square is close by and Deering Oaks is just down the hill.

Bruce Erwin Johnson


I am a lifelong resident of Portland and have lived on Park Street for 30 years. I have been following the Congress Square plaza controversy and have to add my opinion to the discussion.

While a plaza at the intersection of High and Congress streets is laudable, the design and presentation are terrible. Sunken spaces with two dead sides never, ever work.

Better to sell part of the plaza – not the whole plaza, but the back third – to the hotel with stipulations that it maintain full-time access from the rear of the plaza.

The city can work with the owner of Yes Books about opening the side flank of the building, and then you have a lively, hopefully well-designed public space (with, God forbid, a water fountain, but that is another letter).

James Bruni


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